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Florence says it won’t vote on moving Confederate monument without county resolution

The city wants a resolution in writing to be passed by the county commission before they will vote on the confederate monument.

Posted: Jun 24, 2020 5:08 PM
Updated: Jun 24, 2020 9:15 PM

Wednesday, there was another twist in trying to remove a Confederate monument in the Shoals.

The city of Florence told Lauderdale County commissioners it wants a resolution in writing before voting on whether or not to move the monument, but commissioners told WAAY 31 there is no need for a resolution because commission members sent the mayor a letter saying they can do what they want to with  the monument.

Two Florence City Council members, told WAAY 31 they want written permission to come onto county courthouse property and remove the monument, if that's what they vote to do. The second part of the resolution council members want says if anything breaks while the monument is being moved the city isn't liable.

WAAY31 reached out to County Commission Chairman Danny Pettus, and he provided WAAY 31 with a letter below saying the city can come on the property and won't be on the hook for any damages. Pettus said all commissioners approved the letter.

Florence Mayor Steve Holt told WAAY 31 he got the letter, and after consulting with the city's attorney they've decided they need something more concrete than the letter.

"Years down the road when you have a different commission and a different city council and somebody may dispute what was done or question what was done they need and we need the documentation saying here is what we did," said Holt.

"That's a reasonable request and something that should be a very simple resolution by the county."

The city wants to vote on moving the monument July 7, but vote on the matter until Lauderdale County commissioners pass the resolution. The next regular county commission meeting is July 13. Commission members cannot vote and pass resolutions in work sessions.

WAAY 31 told Pettus the city wants the resolution and he said he thought their needs were satisfied by the letter they sent. WAAY 31 asked if he could or would call a special commission meeting to vote on the resolution and he said he was contacting the county attorney.

Florence took the lead on moving the monument because earlier this week, the United Daughters of the Confederacy sent a letter to county lawmakers saying it gifted the confederate monument to the city of Florence, not Lauderdale County.

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